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Tennessee Basketball Shoots Into Top Five In Jan. 23 AP Poll

Photo By Ian Cox/ Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball flew up the rankings and back into the top five in the Jan. 23 AP Poll. The Vols are the No. 4 team in the country after a 2-0 week on the road and other top 10 teams dropping games like flies.

Bouncing back from its home loss against Kentucky, undermanned Tennessee went on the road and earned wins at Mississippi State and LSU.

Down starting guards Santiago Vescovi and Tyreke Key, Tennessee started horribly in Starkville. After a poor first 14 minutes of the week, Tennessee outscored its opponents, 134-96.

Julian Phillips and Zakai Zeigler were both fantastic on the week with Phillips earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors by tallying 28 points and 15 rebounds. After struggling in the first 14 minutes at Mississippi State, Zeigler was brilliant. The sophomore point guard totaled 36 points and 14 assists on the week.

More From RTI: Balanced Vols Blow Past LSU

Tennessee is one of three SEC teams in this week’s AP Poll, joining No. 2 Alabama and No. 15 Auburn. The No. 4 ranking is the highest Tennessee has landed in the AP Poll this season. The last time the Vols ranked this high was during the 2018-19 season.

The Vols now have a brief break from SEC play this week. Tennessee returns home for a two-game home stand where they’ll face Georgia and then No. 10 Texas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Tip-off between Tennessee and Georgia is Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The SEC Network is broadcasting the game.

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